The national StreetSmart campaign launches on Wednesday 1st November.
This year sees 20 years of StreetSmart nationwide and to celebrate that, a fantastic array of Manchester's restaurants have come together with the joint aim of giving the biggest Christmas present yet to the region's homeless charities through the scheme.
StreetSmart works by participating restaurants adding £1 to all customers' bills throughout November and December. This is a voluntary contribution and the amount is the same no matter how big the party. The money raised is collected in January and is distributed amongst Greater Manchester's homeless charities.
StreetSmart has partnered with the Greater Manchester Mayors Homelessness Fund this year - working together with the region's new Metropolitan Mayor, Andy Burnham, to support his pledge to end homelessness in Manchester. All the money raised in 2017 will be donated to the Mayor's Fund, which will be distributed to the homeless charities that it supports.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham commented: "I'm so grateful to StreetSmart for joining up with us this year. All the money raised will be contributed to the Mayor's Homelessness Fund, and will directly support our fight against rough sleeping and homelessness in Manchester. So, we just encourage anyone that's dining out this winter to check the StreetSmart website, find the participating restaurants, have a good time, and give your support to ending homelessness."
"We're delighted to be partnering with The Mayor's Fund in Manchester" comments Glenn Pougenet, Director of StreetSmart "this will enable us to support fantastic organisations, such as The Booth Centre and The Wellspring. This way we're all working towards the same vision, which is to end homelessness in Manchester. We're incredibly grateful for the support of the restaurants who have signed up to StreetSmart this year - their participation directly impacts on the lives of the homeless in the city. We'd be delighted to have even more join in so if you run a restaurant and would like to help the homeless this Christmas please get in touch!"
With a range of Manchester's best restaurants participating in StreetSmart, this small gift adds up to a serious impact on the lives of the local homeless population. Last year StreetSmart raised over £16,000 for homelessness charities in the region and the campaign intends to smash this figure in 2017.
The StreetSmart campaign is unique in that 100% of the monies collected go direct to local homeless organisations, thanks to the generosity of sponsors Deutsche Bank.
Last year, this money raised by the diners and restaurants of Manchester's helped to make possible the, often lifesaving, projects and work of organisations including The Booth Centre, Barnubus and The Wellspring. These organisations are focused on helping individuals break the cycle, regain their dignity and rebuild their lives via positive action, as well as providing crisis and emergency shelter and food. After carrying out in depth research on the impact of the campaign, StreetSmart estimate that 5,439 people benefitted from the funds raised last year.
Customers who want to give something extra when they dine this Christmas can do so by visiting Store Street Exchange. Amy Hinks from Booth Centre Manchester (one of the city's longest standing beneficiaries of the campaign) says StreetSmart is one of their most vital partnerships: "We're delighted to be one of the beneficiary charities supported by StreetSmart. The vital funds raised help us to provide our catering training project which supports people with experience of homelessness to undertake work placements and training in our centre's kitchen. The project also helps to provide a nutritious breakfast and lunch for around 100 people each day who visit the Booth Centre for support. The StreetSmart initiative is making a big difference to the lives of homeless people in our city. Thanks to all the restaurants supporting us this year!"
StreetSmart runs from 1st November to 31st December. Full lists of participating restaurants and charities can be found at www.streetsmart.org.uk.